-My Apologies Ted Kennedy –

•August 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

For decades I have privately persecuted the man without taking the trouble to know the individual and, for that, I am truly sorry.

We all have our shortcoming, we have all done things that we are less than proud  of but, most of us aren’t subject to public scrutiny the way a U. S. Senator is. We have had plenty of examples of that kind of scrutiny over the past few years and I don’t believe any of us (if we cared to tell the truth) could have fared any better than they did.

Ted Kennedy was no exception and, considering he was part of the most highly publicized and renown families in America, his level of exposure was even greater than most.

I, personally, never forgave him his indiscretions or the tragic death caused by him during one of those alleged escapades. His irresponsibility shown in the handling of that situation and the ensuing cover-up blackened his name, and that of his entire family, with me and many others forever. Not exactly the Christian thing to do.

It has only been over the past few weeks and since his death that I have begun to listen and, finally, hear about the man and his great contributions both within the halls of the Senate and as a humanitarian in general. I am ashamed to say that I let blindness effect my thinking for so many years I failed to see all the good the man has done and tried to do.

I don’t agree with everything he has tried to accomplish but then I am a moderate Republican. I do, however, think his heart was in the right place and, I sincerely wish mine had been.

I am sixty-one and pushing my next birthday pretty darn hard. It’s a sad thing indeed to think that over these many years on earth, I still haven’t gotten this forgiveness thing right yet.

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Well, I’ve just dropped my stone and will think long and hard before picking up another. It’s too late in some respects and, some would say unnecessary at all but, I disagree.

“Mr. Kennedy, I am truly sorry I didn’t take the time to know the real you. I’m sorry that all I did was dwell on the negatives and ignored all the positives along the way. Most of all, enjoy your rest for you have admirably completed your work here on earth. The world is a far better place because you have helped make it so. May you rest in peace and dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

That is My opinion and you are welcome to it.

Have a nice day!

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– Cowards in Gangs – The Weakness In Numbers –

•August 28, 2009 • 2 Comments

“Yeah man, we’re family see. We looks after the brothers. We takes care of our own, see. We don’t ax nothin’ of nobody. We takes care of our own. Yeah. Dat’s what we do.”

Note: – I apologize if I offended any group of individuals with that characterization but it is one we are familiar with. We have heard it on several occasions on many different T.V. police dramas. It was stated only as a means of opening this post and to generate a level of concern for the real problem. Gang violence in our world today. Thank-you for your understanding.

That was one side of one group of so called gangsters justifying their very existence. Domestic thugs, which is what they really are, who didn’t have brains enough to stay in school. Who decided that robbing from their own, intimidating their own, brutalizing their own was the right way for them to live their lives, acquire money and stature and to hell with everyone else.

These are the brave warriors that hang in groups and terrorize those who are smaller and weaker than they are. These are the brave warriors that drive around four, five and six to a car and fire weapons into innocent crowds of people to send a message not caring or sticking around to find out who they may have injured or killed. It could have been an old lady, someones grandmother or aunt perhaps. A little girl or boy too young to even understand violence and just interested in the next bowl of ice cream. That is until one of these brave warriors took their young  life from them.

And what of these brave warriors? What do they do after they indiscriminately fire into a group of innocent and unarmed people? Or when these same brave warriors fire into a house where people are sleeping? Mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters and, possibly grand parents as well. I’ll tell you what they do. They run. They run and hide and then they high-five each other and tell each other how brave they are.

“We showed ’em. We showed ’em they don’t never mess wit us and, we showed ’em what happen when they do.”

Brave warriors one and all or, cowards in cars running and hiding like scared little rabbits? They don’t have the guts to walk up and challenge the guy they are after to a man on man fight. All they can do is shoot a gun into a crowd or stab them in the parking lot of some all night market with five of their friends there for support.

It’s not like the old days when gang members, at the very least, had guts, not just guns and knives. When they settled things with their fists and they knew they wouldn’t be ganged up on if the other guy lost. The fight settled the issue, at least for then and everyone went home. One or more a little banged up maybe but, nobody was dead.

Now, gangs just shoot and run like, well, if they run and hide, they’re not brave are they? If they can’t stand and fight like men, one on one, they’re not brave either. If they have to intimidate with a whole posse behind them to confront one little girl or an old man, they’re surely not brave. So, if they’re not brave enough for those scenarios, what are they? It’s the first word of the title of this story. Remember it!!

Do you think these macho maniacs are any different than a rabid beast? They are not. As a matter of fact, they are worse. A rabid beast is predictable to a point and, it is acting the way it is because it is sick and can’t help it. Gangs, on-the-other-hand, live to prey on the weak because that is all they are capable of doing. They are not smart enough to compete on any intellectual level. They don’t have any kind of ethic at all so, legitimate work of any kind is out of the question. They will tell you that work is for losers. The smart guy takes what he wants. He doesn’t have to work for it. That’s why so many of these “smart guys” end up behind bars or dead.

Let me tell you something, the real smart guys don’t get arrested. I know that might come as a shock to some of you gang members out there but it’s true. The real smart guys live their lives free and outside of prison walls. It’s the animals and idiots that get arrested. It’s the animals and idiots that end up behind bars. It’s the animals and idiots that plaster their affiliations all over their bodies in ink. Yet these are real losers that some look up to and consider to be the brave warriors.

These are the tough guys, again, the brave warriors that control drugs, prostitution, loan sharking and protection scams in our cities and towns? Break them down into elements of one and see how tough they really are. Take away their strength, meaning their numbers, and see how tough they are then. These are cowards. All of them are cowards. They prove that every time they terrorize a little kid and think it’s funny. They prove it every time two or more of them confront anyone and feel like that makes them more important. They’re common bullies. The only way a bully can feel good about himself is when he makes fun of someone else. And, usually that person is smaller in stature, weaker in strength and, most important, alone. The bully or gang member has back-up, his crew or, in this case, his audience. “Look at me, how brave I am.” Know anyone like that?

We used to think that there was strength in numbers and there still is until you see a gang in action then, it becomes a weakness. A gang only has the power we, as a community, gives it. If we, as a community, decide to take it away from them, there is nothing they can do about it. We, who ever that we may be, “we” out number them and “we” always will. That is something we must remember. Man for man, we have the bigger, the stronger and the better gang. Their gang runs on fear and intimidation. Ours runs on community, friendship, faith and hope. Not to mention, we have the law on our side. You may not always think so, but we do.

These man/boys that hang around on street corners selling dope and yelling obscenities at girls walking by. Who touch or harass passers-by simply because they think they are entitled to, that they own the corner and the surrounding neighborhood and, in pure ignorance, laugh at their own stupidity.

Welcome to their small world.  A single corner within a few small blocks, in one small neighborhood. These are the great warriors who look up to each other because they think they have the power. They are dead wrong, they have nothing, nothing at all. Not even each other. Put into a push or shove position where their personal well being out weighs that of one of their home boys. What do you think they will do? That’s right, they’d sell them out in a New York minute.

These are the street thugs, dressed in their gang finery and colors proudly displaying their gang and prison tats, because that’s all they have in life. These sad individuals who have a short and violent life to look forward to because they were too stupid, too ignorant and too lazy to make anything worthwhile out of their lives. They are lost souls with only death and/or incarceration to look forward to. They are men and, yes women, without futures, without vision, without hope.

What of the next generation of these, so called, gangsters? Their little brothers and sisters and all of the recruits they get behind prison walls or from within school yard fences? What’s to stop this useless, idiotic waste of lives? What’s to stop the treachery inflicted by these monsters on their own community, their own people and the surrounding communities as well? I would say death would be appropriate but that would be impossible. We could lock them all in a stadium and let them fight it out to the death. A small sacrifice for peace on the streets of our cities and towns.  That would be applauded like the Romans did in the ancient coliseum when they threw the Christians to the lions. Applauded, yes, but impossible in today’s world. A real shame. Given a choice, most of them wouldn’t show up anyway. First word in the title of this story, remember!?!

Somehow, someway, we are going to have to appeal to the more intelligent of these gang members and ……………………… hmmm

I’m really sorry. I honestly don’t know how to correct this situation. I know the problem well but, for the life of me, I don’t know the solution. I don’t know how to overcome pure evil with pure logic or, if it is even possible to do so. I guess I’m just not smart enough to climb that mountain. God only knows, there has to be someone out there who can.

One more thing. If any gang member out there feels I have the wrong perspective on this situation, prove me wrong. Make an intelligent comment giving me your version of the truth as you see it. I’m asking for justification and clarification on a very troubling subject.

I welcome your comments and promise to respond to each. And, if I seem to be rather harsh on gangs and their members, thank-you, I have achieved my goal. I hate gangs and the needless violence and unrest they breed. Again, prove me wrong, if you can. If you cannot then you will have to live with it, die with it or change it. Your choice.

That’s my (personal) opinion and you’re welcome to it!

Have a nice day!

– Banking – Legal Larceny? –

•August 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have recently had a little disagreement with my bank over check charges. If the mob had just started banks instead of loan sharking, they never would have gotten in trouble.

Just last week, I had a $400.00 check come through that put my account over by a little over twenty-three dollars. This meant that every transaction after that was going to put it even further in the hole. By the end of the day, I was over drawn by a little over $115.oo. The bank assessed a $35.00 over-draft fee for each transaction. Even the one for .65 cents. An after thought of mine at Wendy’s, their small chili.

The very next day, I deposited $454.00 and change. Two more transactions had come in overnight which added two additional over-draft charges to my all ready dwindling account. By the time I was able to get the $125.00 or so paid back to the bank, they had taken an addition $280.00 out of my deposit. I now had a grand total of $29.00 in my account.

For a $125.00 over-draft, my bank took an additional $280.00 for a grand total of $405.00 for what could be considered a 36 hour loan. The only reason it isn’t considered usury is because the bank decided to call it over-draft fees. This makes an unreasonable interest rate legal.

If the mob had only figured that out earlier. Even so, though I have never taken advantage of the local loan-shark, I’m pretty sure I could have gotten a better rate of interest on a $125.00, 36 hour loan from them. Oh, let’s say 30% maybe, rather than the 300% charged by Bank of America. Shame on them and shame on us for letting them get away with out right robbery under the guise of banking fees. I thought they were on our side and trying to help us not steal the very thing they are supposed to be protecting.

I don’t mind being penalized for the over-draft for it was, in the end, my fault. But, with that thought in mind,  let’s keep it within reason, shall we? Charging $280.00 for a $125.00 mistake is just not right or fair. What say you on this issue?

Naturally, that would be my opinion and you’re welcome to it.

Have a nice day!

Oh, and by-the-way ………. Bah-humbug……… and thank-you.

– The Movies – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow –

•August 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Violence, in one form or another, has always been a part of movies. Love scenes and lovers have graced the silver screen, celluloid , video tapes and CD’s since man first learned how to film them. We have had dramas, fantasies, westerns, war flicks, romance, horror and sci-fi movies since the beginning but, have we learned anything from them? I mean, have we made them better or have we just learned how to exploit them and their actors more efficiently?

In looking back over the last hundred years or so, we have taken a remarkable form of entertainment and information to a whole new level. Once again technology has propelled the movie industry to great new heights. The writers such as Orson Welles with his Mars invasion shocked the world on radio. H. G. Welles was the king of Sci-fi before we even knew what that was. Gene Roddenberry, the father of Star Trek and all of it’s spin-offs, gave us Warp speed (an Einstein theory), communicators (before flip phones), the impressive Tri-corder that Spock carried (what we now call the Blackberry). The movies and the imagination of man urged science to try and keep up. Buck Roger of the 1930’s with his ray gun (the modern day laser) and so much more. These were the positive influences and results and all, or most, in the name of technology.

When we look at the behavior of the movies and, by that, I mean the need for rating systems and the general need for so much reality in films, I think we have failed miserably. When we look back at the great gangster films of the past with James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and the like, there was violence, there was gunfire and people died but we didn’t need to see their guts splattered all over the place to know they were dead.

In love scenes, the imagination often was more powerful than the camera. We, as adults and even as children, knew when the lights dimmed what the man and the woman were about to do. Showing the intimate details of their embrace wasn’t necessary or even needed to complete the picture. Fade to black and pick it up the next morning.

One of the great pictures of 1934 was “It Happened One Night” starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. She was a debutant running away from an arranged marriage and Gable was the reporter who was tracking her down. It’s a love story about the two of them and their exploits over the next couple of days. How they end up in a road side motel with bungalows instead of rooms. How they rig up a blanket between the two beds for privacy calling it the wall of Jerico.

As in all good love stories, they end up falling in love and going to that same little motel and that same little bungalow on their honeymoon. The writers didn’t show them writhing in bed together in marital spender. They showed them closing the door behind them leaving you, the viewer, standing outside in the parking lot. Then, as you watch the lights in the bungalow go out, you hear a trumpet blow within as the wall of Jerico comes tumbling down. Can you figure out what happened next without actually seeing it? God I would hope so.

We rely way too much on the visual and not nearly enough on the imagination. Stark violence can be depicted without actually being shown. Love, in its many forms can be hinted at without the nudity and visual effects used today.

I am not a prude and I enjoy relationships as much as the next guy or girl so why is it necessary to plaster it across the big screen? Even the very youngest knows about the birds and the bees before they see their first movie of any kind. Sorry parents but it’s true.

Violence can be implied without showing the end result with such reality. The gunfire and impacts, okay, that I understand but why the mutilated and bloodied bodies laying on the ground. Choose a different angle that shows the bodies without the gore. We get it. We can see it without being shown.

So many of the old gangster movies would pan from the intended victim to the guy with the gun. He would be gritting his teeth showing how mean and determined he was. The camera would then pan down to the gun as it went off. Often, you wouldn’t even see the victim again, just the sound of him or her hitting the floor. Can you figure out what happened without seeing it?

Technology is a wondrous thing but we have to know when enough is enough. We have to be responsible enough to say, “You know, this just isn’t necessary.” When violence and sex become gratuitous that’s when you have to pull the plug, stand back and reevaluate. The old movies did it and, to this day, they are still great. They are often referred to as Classics. How many of the blood and guts, sexually explicit movies of today will be able to say the same thing fifty, sixty or seventy years from now? Or, do their producers and directors even care anymore?

Are the studios just interested in the all mighty buck? Is that the only driving force today and to Hell with the rest? Is integrity a word of the past? Has creativity gotten lost in technology? Is special effects replacing the creativity that was necessary in the early films? They, the producers and directors of those early films were required to do more with less back then because that was all they had and they did it damn well. They told a story without producing a shock flick. There weren’t X-rated or R-rated movies that kids couldn’t go and see because of the level of violence, sexual content or language used. Everyone and anyone could see them anytime.

Maybe it was a simpler time back then or maybe it was something else. Something else entirely. I guess the producers and directors of today are going to have to figure that one out for themselves. Then, they will have to decide how they want their movies to be remembered, if at all.

Steven Spielberg has it figured out. Ron Howard has it figured out. Clint Eastwood has it figured out. And, they are not alone but there are many who haven’t figured it out. I wonder if they know who they are or even care.

If the movies of today are any example, and I am not including all movies of today in this category of course, but if they are any example of the movies to come and the use or misuse of the new technologies of the future, we have much more work to do as a civilized people.

Try to imagine an alien spaceship, after traveling millions of light years to reach our beautiful blue planet and hoping to contact a peaceful people, tuning into one of our many movie channels. Far fetched I know but bare with me. Suppose they tuned into Mad Max or Thunder Dome. Maybe they were lucky enough to tune into one of the Men in Black movies or Independence Day where we are blowing alien ships out of the sky. How about The Texas Chainsaw Murders or Friday The Thirteenth, etal.? They would see nothing but violence. “What sort of people are these?” they would think.

I’m sure that you too are thinking of movies of similar plots that would be equally as shocking to visitors from another planet, if there are such entities. I don’t think any of those films would bode well for us, do you? Given the circumstances, that is.

Now, if you feel as I, that the use of extreme violence and sexual content is not necessary to produce a good if not great film, please let me know. If I’m completely out in left field on this one and in an empty ballpark, I’d like to know that as well.

But for now……………….

That’s my opinion and you’re welcome to it!

Have a nice day.

– Just A Thought –

•August 20, 2009 • 1 Comment

“Some people are important for many reasons, others just think they’re important for no apparent reason at all.”

Just a thought …………. from me.  Ed B.

Have a nice day!

– Obamanation 101 – The Rise and Fall of a Wanabe –

•August 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

We have a president that thinks he’s a rock star at best and an NBA star at worst. He takes vacations that he criticizes financial executives of taking and million dollar date nights to New York with his wife that he blames on the presidency itself. “Well what else could I do?” It makes a $300.00 dollar haircut on the LAX taxiway seem insignificant by comparison.

This man has ignored his responsibility to the American public and romped around the world in search of acceptance by the powers that be. He  has ignored the fact that we are at war, whether he likes it or not, and the war is worsening due to his inattention. The enemies we now have are testing him. The number of deaths are rising do to bombings and incursions and he is doing nothing to stop it. He plays around with his pet project, Health Care, which is Socialist at best and irresponsible at worst and ignores the real problem, our enemies which are proving day by day that he is weak and ineffective as a president.

Mr. Obama has not lived up to his rhetoric. He can’t even live up to his advertising as a candidate. The only thing he has done is set the Republican Party into a wait and see mode and the Democratic Party into a damage control mode. His popularity is dropping by the day if not the minute. His stance on  Health Care is loosing ground as we speak and his credibility as a president is loosing ground internationally. They, the world, are watching and they are not dumb. They don’t look at him through rose colored glasses. They see him for what he is, not what they wish him to be.

There are many disillusioned Democrats that are shaking their heads. There are many journalists that are saying, quite softly mind you, what have we done? Voting the party line was always the way of the Democratic party. Don’t ask, don’t tell didn’t start with the military gay, it started with the Democratic party as a matter of course and, I might add, with a lot of help from the main stream journalists.

You can bury your heads in the sand if you wish but you can’t hold your breath for ever. Someday the truth is going to bite you on the ass and you’re going to have to come up for air. I’m not saying that the Republicans are the only answer, they’re not. But look at what you have now. Is that really what you want holding the key to your future? Are you really willing to bet your farm on the hand he’s holding? He bluffed you once, don’t let it happen twice.

That’s my opinion and you’re welcome to it. Thank God for the First Amendment.

Have a nice day!

– Morons of the World Unite – It’s WWE RAW –

•July 28, 2009 • 1 Comment

I am, as I type, watching this pathetic display of what is supposed to be one on one combat between people who, by their own inflated and enhanced voices, hate the very ground each other walks on.

Many of them are roommates on this never ending tour of chumpions that play host to these moronic crowds of fans or those otherwise known as mental incompetents.

Does anyone, in this universe, actually believe these guys or girls are actually doing anything but acting? Who in their right mind would hold still for that kind of battering and then, as if the whole last ten minutes never even happened, come back, turn the tables and beat the living daylights out of their opponent like they weren’t just on their deathbed two minutes ago. AND then, as if by super human strength, they pose for the cameras and display a well rehearsed look of amazement.

These guys and girls are stunt men and women. They rehearse these moves over and over and make sure no one gets hurt. At least not hurt too seriously. Sometimes things happen.

But, come on, who walks around with a microphone all the time? And, talks with a gurgle? Who leaves ladders, folding chairs, folding tables, sledgehammers right outside the ring where these self proclaimed psycho’s can get their hands on them? Well, let me tell you morons who would do that. Producers, screen writers, directors, stunt coordinators. Anyone and everyone associated with this phony sport.

What amazes me is the number of dim-wits that actually waste their time watching this garbage. And, if you want to say. “Well, you watched it to write this story.” No, I didn’t. I was listening to the inane dialog of these make-believe gladiators until I placed the last period to this story. I took one final look at the screen and puked.

Grow up you darlin’s of destruction. Have you looked next to you both left and right. Which of you is man or woman enough to do anything more dangerous than play paddy-cake. Talk is cheap. Action takes actual guts. Watching make believe takes nothing but time. Place yourself where you think you belong but, ………………. be honest. Someone might just call you on it. What would you do then? Pissing in your pants is not what you want your friends to see. You never know when put up or shut up is going to knock on your door. Are you ready? Or, are you like your hero’s on TV, just a big bag of wind?

That’s MY opinion and you’re welcome to it.

Have a nice day!